Taking U-2 to the Finish Line

Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz believes the service has to keep the U-2 Dragon Lady viable through the transition to the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle because “what the U-2 does is irreplaceable.” He made that comment Aug. 21 at an Airmen’s Call on his first visit to Beale AFB, Calif., home to both the U-2 and RQ-4. Schwartz acknowledged that incorporating the U-2’s “range of sensor capabilities” on the RQ-4 “is taking longer than we’d like.” He vowed, “I will pay attention to the transition, and we will sustain the U-2 until we have a solid transition.” Schwartz noted that intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance work is “vital to today’s fight,” and, since the U-2 is part of that vital ISR capability, he said, “we’ve got to rock and roll all the way to the finish line.” (Beale report by SSgt. Sarah Brown)